National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development

National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development


National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development
Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2018)

A plea for reformative model of punishment


Patitapaban Das

“Koi kisiko itnā pyār karen jo usko mārde” (Does anyone love someone so much that she kills him?). This is a stupendous dialogue delivered near the end of a recent bolleywood movie named Dhoom-2. In the movie it is portrayed that the heroine shoots at the hero because she loves him so much that she does not want the hero’s life rusted in the police custody. At the prima facie, someone might accuse the heroine being immoral taking some one’s life or inflicting pain to him. Though slightly different, an act of punishment also aims at inflicting pain or hardship in someone’s life. The act of killing or inflicting pain is justified on the ground that a) prohibits others from indulging in the same act as in preventive theory b) tit for tat as in deterrent theory c) for educating someone as in case of reformative theory. However, the act of killing or inflicting pain to someone is not merely judged by the consequence of an action rather by the intention or motive of so doing. This evokes the problem of decision procedure regarding the moral validity of an action. This also triggers a philosophical debate over the legitimacy and moral worthiness of punishment in whatsoever form may be. Generally three views - deterrent, retributive and reformative - about punishment are proffered in the philosophical literature. According to the deterrent theory punishment is inflicted on someone so that others would be deterred from doing crimes. For retributive theory, punishment is just like a negative reward which is due for the criminals. Reformative theory is the view according to which punishment is an act of reformation. This paper examines the moral rationale behind these views and proposes that two of these are similar in their approach since both of them base their argument on the intention or motive of the action. Moreover, this article is tilted towards one of these two views namely reformative theory of punishment. This paper examines the moral grounds of these theories and then shows that reformative theory is based on solid moral grounds. The paper has three parts. In the first part, I focus on the moral groundings of theories regarding punishment. In the second, I rebuff the moral foundations of deterrent and preventive theories. In the third part, I discuss the moral strength of reformative theory.
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How to cite this article:
Patitapaban Das. A plea for reformative model of punishment. National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 949-952
National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development